www.software.ac.ukSoftware Sustainability   a UK perspective       17November 2011              SC11        Neil Chue Hong...
The UK experience so far                                                         www.software.ac.uk• e-Science    OMII (2...
The Software Sustainability            Institute                                        www.software.ac.ukA national facil...
Software maturity            comes in stages                                             www.software.ac.uk• Governance mo...
Challenges to sustainability                                                                  www.software.ac.uk• Software...
Looking to the future                                                                         www.software.ac.uk• How do y...
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Software Sustainability: a UK Perspective


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Panel presentation at Software Institutes for Sustained Innovation (SI2) BoF at SuperComputing11 in Seattle.

Experiences and challenges identified from 7 years of working to build more maintainable software in research environments.

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  • CCPs have Chair and Working group which set scientific agenda
  • Drawing on pool of specialists to drive the continued improvement and impact of research software developed by and for researchersProviding services for research software users and developersDeveloping research community interactions and capacityPromoting research software best practice and capabilityProvision of useful, effective services for research software communityDevelopment and sharing of research community intelligence and interactionsPromotion of research software best practiceMantra: Keep the software in its respective communityWork with the community, to increase abilityDon’t introduce dependency on SSI as the developerExpand and exploit networks and opportunities
  • No one sets out to make a bad piece of software
  • Based on CSP evaluation and Engage triage
  • Update slide for surveymapper?
  • Update slide for surveymapper?
  • How does software sustainability fit within context of software engineering, community engagement, project management, fundingWhat are the external factors like change in effort, timelines and deadlines, licensing, step changes in product development
  • Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (HedyLamarr) originally using a piano roll, Nikola Tesla for controlling boats
  • Tools –Signal Data Explorer (SDE)􀂄We developed SDE which is now being used:􀂄In CARMEN –neuroscience tools and data sharing􀂄In BROADEN and in Rolls-Royce􀂄We exploited SDE through Cybula Ltd.􀂄Being used on trains􀂄Started to sell out of the box system
  • CAStep: keeping up with the community
  • Become our next collaborator – email info@software.ac.uk
  • Software Sustainability: a UK Perspective

    1. 1. www.software.ac.ukSoftware Sustainability a UK perspective 17November 2011 SC11 Neil Chue Hong N.ChueHong@software.ac.uk Software Sustainability Institute
    2. 2. The UK experience so far www.software.ac.uk• e-Science  OMII (2004-2006) – harvest and maintain, create middleware, strong process  OMII-UK (2006 – 2010) – cultivate and sustain, integrate, emphasis on existing software  ENGAGE (2008 – 2010) – pilot and champion, show benefit• Computational Science  Collaborative Computational Projects (CCPs) – flagship codes  STFC Software Engineering Support Team (1978 – present)• Software Sustainability Institute (2010 – 2015)  and Sound Software (Audio Tools) Software Sustainability Institute
    3. 3. The Software Sustainability Institute www.software.ac.ukA national facility for building better software• Better software enables better research• Software reaches boundaries in its maturity cycle that prevent improvement, growth and adoption• Providing the expertise and services needed to negotiate to the next stage • Software reviews and refactoring, collaborations to develop your project, guidance and best practice on software development, project management, community building, publicity and more… Software Sustainability Institute
    4. 4. Software maturity comes in stages www.software.ac.uk• Governance model must support changes, not stifle; from start-up to successful and sustained An idea to solve a problem Idea Single developer/user Understand the functionality Idea Prototype A few close developers/users Scaling to work for others Idea Prototype Research First “outside” users Allow others Idea Prototype Research Supported to participate Idea Prototype Research Supported Product Software Sustainability Institute
    5. 5. Challenges to sustainability www.software.ac.uk• Software is not valued in the same way as research  What is software worth? How much “invisible” effort is invested?  How much credit do you get towards tenure?  There is no consistent way of rewarding reuse• Researchers who develop software, work with developers, need a specific set of skills  Training, e.g. Software Carpentry, builds a common language  Training early in career should be on exploiting, not conforming as we can’t predict how people will use the software• Current software funding cycles/roadmaps do not aid planning and cooperation  Projects and groups must have a roadmap to build against and we must retain competition and excellence without losing skills  The best research is trans-national: our infrastructure must support this  We can’t build up trust for the long term Software Sustainability Institute
    6. 6. Looking to the future www.software.ac.uk• How do you evaluate software sustainability?  Technical and Governance  Self-certification versus Third-party examination  Templates and best practice; similar to Data Management Planning• How do you encourage reuse of good software?  Specific funding for developing, maintaining and “championing” software  Citation and credit mechanisms that reward developer and user when software is reused; requires better identification of software in use  Supported open platforms are the key in the age of the research mashup  Create a larger proportion of“software-enabled”researchers and provide the ramps to go from desktop to high-end infrastructure• How do we overcome the “not developed here” syndrome?  Where does the problem lie? Can we do this internationally?  Recognise the distinction between encouraging the “emergent” communities and translating successes into the “mainstream” of research Software Sustainability Institute